Posts from April 2007

Land of Dubious Ideas: Scheduling your Relaxation

Pushing too hard or trying too hard.

We all come up with dubious ideas and thoughts (myself included) that we should never have uttered.
Here is a silly one that I just read about, namely Use Google Calendar to schedule Relaxation on Lifehacker, originally published on Parent Hacks.

I think that when things get that bad, it is time for a check up.

I take a walk everyday around right now, do not schedule it, just do it.

Let us keep our sanity!

Other Silly Ideas: Is it Magic Potion Day

To cut a long story short ,'We Love Magazines'

The death of print media keeps being announced as more is written and published online. I personally think that the two mediums are complementary. I rarely bother reading long stories on my computer screen. I do that with printed stories. This is why I keep most of my pieces short.Welove_2

A new book aptly titled We Love Magazines explores the rich history of magazines around the world.

PingMag interviewed Andrew Losowsky, the man behind this project.

Recent additions to the magazine racks include personal favorite Good Magazine and from the house of Conde Nast the business title Portfolio.

My wife often wonders why I collect old issues from a number of them.

I do like the feeling of being surrounded by things to read.

After all, our brain is a muscle, it needs to be used.

Other Monday morning musings: Live anywhere...Escape the Daily Grind

The Belgian mussels gospel according to The Hairy Bikers

Why is it that the BBC seems to offer a bunch of Food Shows that can be fun without being dumb?
A case in point is The Hairy Bikers who in their most recent episode gave us their take on Belgium with beers and of course Mussels. Hairybikers_tea_420x190
They started their second series with a trip to strictly vegetarian Chennai (in India if you have trouble with geography).

Some chefs I know who have a hard time believing that you can come up with tasty vegetarian dishes should have tagged along.

From their first series, I suggest you try the Caldo Verde (a green cabbage and chorizo soup from Portugal).

Other Beeb TV and Food bits: Food Memories, a 'Taste of my life'

Retired...Bored...Open a restaurant...Ingredients, a Hong Kong Story

After working in the food industry and banking and easing his way into retirement, Hong Kong resident John Ang decided to open a restaurant so he would not get bored.
It was not a pet project since cooking was a lifelong passion for him.
What started as a small 36 seat Eaterie catering to friends and business connections has moved to bigger digs.

The place is aptly named Ingredients. After reading Not so secret Ingredients by Ann M. Morrison in today's Financial Times, I felt I had to share this tasty and tasteful restaurant with you.

They do not seem to have any online presence at this time. Ingredients is located at 23-29 Wing Fung Street and their phone number is 852-2544-5133.

Check Tasting Menu for a few more restaurant recommendations in Hong Kong.

Bon Appetit!

Other Nightime Hong Kong stories: Not for the faint, Eat Drink Hong Kong

You can ring my Bell! ma Sonnette...Dancing to a wine tune

Wine is like food and music, unless tasted, this is hard to form an opinion about it.
I visited the Bell Wine Cellars website but it did not help much.Bellwine

Luckily, 2 days ago, I run into the person in charge of their portfolio in my New Jersey corner (Cotes de Longue) and had the chance and I can now say the pleasure to taste 3 of Bell Wine Cellar's offerings.

I especially liked their Napa Merlot and Chardonnay.
The Merlot has good legs and fills your mouth with flavor.
The Chardonnay is elegant, rounded (they say 'creamy') and with a long finish, more European than Californian in style.

All in all a pleasant surprise.

These wines are small productions by California standards so you might not find them in the wine store around the corner but they are worth looking for. 

'Ring my Bell' by Anita Ward was not my soundtrack while writing this, the lighter touch of 'Six French Suites' by Bach (on harpsichord) mind you.

Other Bells and Whistles and wine stories: On the West Coast...of South Africa

Want to get blacklisted by your Mother, take her out at 11:00 am on Mother's Day

I don't know about you but my mother would think I have lost all my good manners (and or/my marbles) if I ever thought of taking her out for brunch (breakfast?) at say 10:00 or 11:00 am on Mother's Day.

A proper time at least in Europe would be I think from 1:00 pm on and please no eggs and pancake thing, a real nice meal.

OK! I will not take her out this year since she is many miles away but I know better than mistreat her!

A sort rant on manners.

More table manners: Are good manners out of style? and On Corkage fees, restaurants, stinginess

Change your Life Equation with 'The 4-Hour Workweek' by Timothy Ferriss

We often put dreams or career changes on hold because we are afraid it won't work.
People like Timothy Ferriss make us kick ourself in the behind.
I first met the author after he made a presentation at South by Southwest and the 'positive vibrations' he sent made me want to talk to him.
The idea expressed by the title of his book 'The 4-Hour Workweek' (Crown Publishers) might be a stretch but it raises the issue of face time versus results at work. 4hourwork_2
Doing less by doing better for him means outsourcing tasks that someone can do for less money than you make in your average working hour. It is not just a financial and scheduling decision. The person might also do a better job than you at that specific task.
Why spend a lot of time and energy on things you do not like or do not have the skills for? For me it would be things like cleaning windows.
Another one of Timothy Ferriss points is that the planets will never be perfectly aligned for you to make the jump into whatever you really want to do.

This brought back to mind the 3 minute thinking of my friend Eric Bienstock.

An underlying argument in The 4-Hour Workweek is that you have more choices than you want to acknowledge.
Timothy Ferriss considers that money is based on what he calls 4 W's: What you do, When you do it, Where you do it, and with Whom you do it.
He calls it the "freedom multiplier".
After all, in a number of fields technology allows us to work from pretty much any place and work with people in many places as well.
Changing the cost of living equation by moving somewhere affordable can allow us to work less and live more.

I just got a publisher's copy yesterday so this is my first take on it.
The book was released this week.

Other Work and Life Stories: Leisure is Vital and Find 5 reasons why enthusiasm is better than confidence

Beyond Banking and Chocolate...Beer from Switzerland...La Meule

We all tend to associate countries with their main activities, for Switzerland it would be banking, chocolate and pharmaceuticals.

Add to this list a different kind of beer, La Meule, a blond beer infused with sage.Lameule

It is brought to us by La Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes .

Their US distributor describes these swiss beers as "flavorful top-fermenting beers, brewed according to ancestral accounts of master craftsmen brewers. Double Fermented before bottling, they are unfiltered and unpasteurized to preserve their flavors and smoothness."

A couple of food paring ideas would be to "try La Meule with poultry in a tarragon sauce. Salty hard cheeses or just good old fried fish do the job just as well."

Now I need to put my hands on one of these and taste it first hand.

Other natural beer stories of late: For a natural feel, try 'Cask Beer'...the Slow Beer

Not a Cheesy Evening...An Evening of Warm Cheese, Wine and Music at Nolita House (New York), May 3rd

A week from today Cheese Gurus Waldemar and Nadia are hosting an evening of warm artisan cheese, wine and music at Nolita House in New York.
The restaurant offers original twists on old favorites such as a melted Spanish Valdeon Blue Cheese on a roasted garlic burger.Cheeselady

This Cheez-a-Pallooza event takes place on May 3rd from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Tickets are $40 per person and include a complementary glass or wine or beer selected to match one of the 6 cheeses offered.

For reservations, call 212-625-1712

Nolita House is located at 47 East Houston Street (bet. Mulberry and Mott) in New York.

Will the Spring Cheese Lady (pictured here) be attending?

My personal favorite as a (slightly) warmed cheese is a St Marcellin from Lyon.

Other cheesy stories: Santa, will I get my $199 Wusthof cheese knife

Travel without moving...Dreamlike Julien Roumagnac

Maybe my taste for photography is rooted in the fact that my father was one. Spending time in the lab with him and seeing photos coming to life gave it a magical touch.

Once in a while I discover photo sites that stop me in my tracks.
Today it happened with Julien Roumagnac.Lockheed
This 33 year old Montreal resident grew up in Touraine (France).

Since he informed me that Spring is still barely tip toeing in Quebec, I chose his shiny Lockheed 10 as an illustration, feels like a call to travel.

Pay a visit to Julien Roumagnac and be awed.
The site is available in French and English.

Thanks to Coudal for putting Julien on our map.

More shots on: Thinking of April, check Arnaud Frich photo gallery of the City of Lights